Bohemians face old enemy

Bohemians face an old enemy in Estonian side Levadia Tallinn as they look to reach the second qualifying round of the UEFA Cup for the fourth successive season.

Bohemians face an old enemy in Estonian side Levadia Tallinn as they look to reach the second qualifying round of the UEFA Cup for the fourth successive season.

Three years ago Bohemians faced the same opponents – then called Levadia Maardu – in the Champions League.

In the run-up to the game, the Estonians complained to UEFA about the quality of the floodlights and goalposts at Bohemians’ home, Dalymount Park.

UEFA rejected all the complaints and Bohemians cruised to a 3-0 victory at home before securing a 0-0 draw away.

Although Levadia have since merged with another club and are stronger than on their last visit, Bohemians boss Stephen Kenny is confident that his side can get a result.

“They are better than they were but we are twice as good as we were then,” he claimed.

“It’s irrelevant if you win one leg or the other once you get through and we have the experience to see us through,” added Kenny.

Captain Kevin Hunt also insists that Bohemians will not be fearful going into the game and he is hoping that the Gypsies’ front men can secure an away goal before the home leg.

He said: “They were a decent team and good on the ball. But we had a bit too much for them when we played them last time.

“They are stronger now, but hopefully we’ve got stronger.

“The pressure will be on them in the first leg and we can take a look at them and hopefully come away with the right result. Nil-nil is dodgy, we need an away goal because if we draw at home after a 0-0, we’re out.”

Preparations for Bohemians have hardly been ideal. Defender Colin Hawkins picked up an ankle injury last week against Waterford United and is ruled out, along with Bobby Ryan, who injured his ankle in training on Monday.

Striker Ryan has been left at home, meaning that Tony Grant is likely to start up front alongside Glen Crowe.

Kenny’s biggest headache is who to play in central defence, with Paul McNally, Ken Oman and Thomas Heary only recently recovering from long-term injuries.

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